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Purchasing Airspace

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Old 06-15-2013, 08:21 PM
  #1
TexasAirBoss
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Default Purchasing Airspace

On the news tonight there was a segment on purchasing airspace. A retired couple in Seattle lived in a house with a nice view of the Puget Sound. Thier view was over the top of thier neighbors house. At some point the neighbors house went on the market. They bought it for $600k. Then they sold it, but retained ownership of the airspace over the house. They did this so nobody could add onto the house, or as often is the case in Seattle, knock the house down and build a taller one in its place. They wished to protect thier view. I thought this was amazing. And I wondered if this type of transaction could be conducted to benifit a flying club.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:28 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Interesting. I wonder how much a cubic yard of space is worth? I rent my air space really cheap.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:41 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Are you saying that we own the air space over our homes? Not questioning your story, but I find that hard to believe.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:44 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Up to 499ft. The Gubberment owns the rest.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:22 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

I could see this holding up in court, up until the time
they tried to restrict air traffic over their house.
It's not uncommon for Home Owners Associations
to have height restrictions to prevent blockage of views.

Interesting Story,

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Old 06-16-2013, 05:28 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace


Quote:
ORIGINAL: tacx

Are you saying that we own the air space over our homes? Not questioning your story, but I find that hard to believe.
Yeah, my thought exactly.

From the Seattle Times -

"Former Seattle Mariners first baseman John Olerud won a neighborhood dispute when the Clyde Hill Board of Adjustment ruled that homeowners across the street must remove two trees that obstruct his view of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline."

Olerud toured the house, saw the hundred year old trees (rare chinese pines) and still bought the house then months later started the legal process to have the tress removed. Clearly, the homeowners (Bruce and Linda Baker) did not own the airspace above their own home.

I think what it boils down to is the person who is able/willing to put the most money into the dispute is the one who owns the airspace. If a developer buys the property with the intention of building bigger, I think that retired will find they didn't actually retain any rights or ownership.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:47 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

I haven't found a link to the specific story I mentioned in the OP, but here is the link to similar airspace purchase agreements.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Home...211502141.html

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Old 06-16-2013, 06:13 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Your confusing "air space" with "line of sight". Strictly a local covenants issue. Happens all the time in Boulder, Co. what with all the enviro nuts up there! Usually the trees are grandfathered in but I guess if you can buy off the local zoning board you can get the trees cut down! Seattle just as bad!
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:54 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

If you read the article, it mentions a legal Deed to the airspace. Many people might believe the US government owns the airspace over thier property, but the Air Commerce Act only provides an easement. There are certain situations like 9/11, for example, when the US government did temporarily confiscate the airpace. But that is more like a marshal law situation.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Around here you do not own the airspace above your house. Not sure about the state of Washington, but I doubt it. And the writer of these articles often don't do any research before 'informing' us with their facts.

If they bought and sold the house, they can put building restrictions in the contract. And if this would hold up in court is a different story.

What they are saying is that you can own the airspace above someone else's property...

 


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Old 06-18-2013, 01:38 PM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Quote:
Up to 499ft. The Gubberment owns the rest. 

Not true. They do control what operates in the airspace, in some cases down to ground level. For example, an ultralight aircraft (in the US, below 254 lbs empty weight) can fly just about anywhere, as it's not under FAA jurisdiction unless built or flown beyond FAR 103. If one crashes, the Feds call the local police. 

No one 'owns' their airspace, but local rules and zoning has a big say on building restrictions. And yes, those with the deep pockets usually get their way. 

There's a big housing/condo development here where the builder put in a few big homes on a hillside overlooking Lake Michigan. After those sold to the super-wealthy, the developer then built multi-unit condos in front of the homes for doctors, lawyers, etc. That's where he really made big $, but ticked off the first buyers. They didn't 'own' their views. 
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:35 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

You may want to check "air rights":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rights
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:35 AM
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Default RE: Purchasing Airspace

Bax,
I've seen the link. In the end, the party with the greatest political clout wins. I've seen individual's and company's rights steamrolled. 

At Pontiac airport (KPTK) here in MI, a new hangar was going up. Local, state and FAA had signed off on the project. As it was being topped off, the tower realized they wouldn't have visual on the very end of rarely-used runway 36. FAA reversed its approval, the hangar lost its top floor, greatly impacting the hangar's usefulness. Fighting the Feds is an exercise in futility, as they're using your money against you. 

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